J. F. Benedetto: a biography

Born in an army field hospital in Germany and educated by nuns in Rome, I came to America at an early age and attended school alongside the actor and country music singer John Corbett. John went on to Cerritos College and I attended West Liberty University and earned a degree in Computer Systems Engineering.


Having in my time worked as a short-order cook, a cub reporter, a computer systems engineer, and a security operative of the Pinkerton Agency (Shield #75992), I took up writing fiction professionally on New Year's Day 1982. My first paid piece appeared in Dragon magazine in 1984 and I've been getting published ever since. I'm at my best when I'm sitting at the keyboard plotting theft, rape, and murder--the perennial favorites of the scum who inhabit those mean streets down which a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.


As a foreign-born crime author, I always try to bring a touch of the unusual to my writing, be it an international incident in a Midtown precinct house, multiple murders on an asteroid, or stopping an execution in a flooded field in Imperial China. Justice may be sought after by an ex-mercenary-turned-private eye, a Martian revolutionary, or a former US Marine officer, but in the end, it will be found.


This being the 21st century, I do have a laptop computer and a cell phone, but still occasionally return to my old manual typewriter, usually when I need to work through some truly tough writing. In fact, my story "Fast Fingers and Coffee", in which the crime is solved by clues provided by a typewriter, was crafted on one.


I live for that kind of irony.